Many authors try writing short stories before venturing into other forms of creative writing. Short stories may seem easy to write, but in reality, writing short stories requires a lot of skill.
Short stories are different from short novels and other works. Most writers, editors, and publishers define short stories as works of fiction that are shorter than 5,000 words. The novella is a bit longer than a short story and its length is usually between 5000 and 40000 words.
The keyword to the format of a short story is the word “story.” The best stories are able to tell in not too many words a tale of feelings, thoughts, sights and action. A reader of a short story needs to be able to relate to a compelling moment of the story. What characters say and do needs to provide insight into their condition and at the same time help the readers understand themselves and the world around them.
The action in a short story typically revolves around one incident that occurs in a small period of time. There is simply not enough room in a short story to deal with a central story and side stories that happen during an extended period of time. This may happen in a novella or a novel, but not a short story.
Another difference between a short story and other works of creative writing is the number of characters. A short story usually has one or a few characters while a novel can have up to a dozen or even more.
While fiction with no dialogs can be good and examples of such fiction do exist, most writers choose to add dialogue to better tell the story. If a plot of a story has interesting and appealing characters, the readers will be interested in what they have to say and how they interact with each other.
The dialogue in a short story has two goals. The first one is to give a deeper insight into the characters of the story. The second one is to develop the plot. When people speak, they let us see what is happening in their minds. The speech shows if people are happy or sad, what they think about and what they dream about, their level of education and their background. Everything about characters of a short story can be revealed through dialogue.